HONDA RACING NEWS

Team HRC celebrates successful Dakar return

Johnny Campbell, Helder Rodrigues and Javier Pizzolito

All 3 Team HRC riders successfully finished the 2013 Dakar Rally with Helder Rodrigues placed 7th, Javier Pizzolito 8th, and Johnny Campbell 40th in the overall classifications. After 24 years absence, this is certainly a phenomenal achievement to have all 3 riders finish and for two of them to be in the Top 10, in what is without doubt the toughest rally in the world. Much experience has been gained and the Honda CRF450 Rally has proven that with more development, Team HRC will return even stronger in 2014.

A huge crowd gathered in Plaza de la Constitucion in front of Santiago’s Palacio de la Moneda to celebrate the arrival of the protagonists of the 2013 Dakar. All in all 124 bikes, 26 quads, 89 cars and 60 trucks for a total of 299 vehicles, out of the 449 that were at the starting blocks in Lima, made it to the finish and they paraded this morning for the final picture on the podium. Tough and unpredictable till the very end, this year’s Dakar was a great success in terms of the number of competitors and spectators.

Helder Rodrigues and Team HRC

The President of Chile, Sebastiàn Piñera, personally welcomed the champions as the Dakar finished for the first time in the Chilean capital. A huge crowd gathered in Plaza de la Constitucion in front of Santiago’s Palacio de la Moneda to celebrate the arrival of the protagonists of the 2013 Dakar. The complete TEAM HRC celebrated the arrival on the podium with HRC President Tetsuo Suzuki. He congratulated Helder Rodrigues, Javier Pizzolito and Johnny Campbell, who finished respectively 7th, 8th and 40th in the overall classification.

“I’m very proud of this team”, said Tetsuo Suzuki, “all three riders completed the whole rally and everybody worked so hard to get the best possible result. Dakar has a special fascination as it is the toughest rally in the world and requires machine reliability, strong riders and strategic team work. This year’s results are promising and we will continue to work on the development of the CRF450 Rally to return stronger next year. I would like to thank our riders, the team members, all our sponsors and partners and also the organizers of the event. My thoughts also go out to all the Honda fans around the world who have supported TEAM HRC in their Dakar debut with a new team after 24 years. They have followed Helder’s, Javier’s and Johnny’s amazing rides throughout 14 stages and 8,420 kilometres from Lima to Santiago. We are very motivated and we will be back to try and win next year”.

Team HRC

After the podium photo and the interviews, HRC riders can finally enjoy a well deserved rest, while the team is already back to work as all assistance vehicles and bikes need to be ready and on time to be shipped back to Europe and Japan.

 

 

 

Honda Civic WTCC gets ready for 2013
Honda Racing Team JAS completed all six races over three rounds, and ended their 2012 season of the World Touring Car Championship (WTCC) on the podium with a third place in the season finale in Macau. Honda announced its participation in the championship in February and the team began tests on circuits in July. The Civic WTCC then made its debut in Suzuka in October after a short preparation time. This was an exceptionally short period to introduce a new engine, but the car was developed through five circuit tests and ran races in Suzuka, Shangha and Macao without any problems.

The team had a very important purpose in taking part in the WTCC in 2012; to gain experience through actual WTCC races in order to fight for the title in 2013, when they will run two cars throughout the season’s races as a works team. During the 2012 season, everything was a first for the team; the car settings, free practice, qualifying, plotting strategies during races and team operations. It was also important for them to know how strong their rivals were. Being able to perform these tasks and to improve their results as they accumulate experience, the team has developed confidence for the 2013 season as well as realising that there still are various issues to be solved.

Team JAS busy with a Pit stop

The 2013 season is scheduled to kick off at the end of March, and Honda Racing Team JAS will appear in every race of the season as a works team with two cars driven by Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro. In preparation for the season, a test which will focus on engine settings will be run in January, and in February, the team will be finalising the 2013 car and starting tests to simulate actual races. Then a final test will be done in March before the season gets underway.

Honda Racing Team JAS has been proceeding with preparations for the coming 2013 season with an aim of fighting for top positions in races and for the title throughout the season.

Driver Tiago Monteiro’s comments

Looking back at the 2012 season
“We evolved every time. Coming to Suzuka with a brand new car, we discovered a lot and in the end, we got our first points. It was a very difficult event because we were just in a learning process. After that, we went to Shanghai. We were far back in the classification, but we learned a lot from the races again. In Macau, we were quite strong from the beginning and the car adapted quite well to the difficult conditions. Every little step made the car faster and stronger, and it has made a big evolution.”

WTCC racing in China in 2012

Looking at the 2013 season
“Of course we want to fight for the championship. Now we have a lot of information we have learned but we still have a lot of work to do during winter. Tests this winter will be very important in order to make the Civic WTCC even better because our rivals will still be strong next year. So, we will have to be faster and stronger.”

Driver Gabriele Tarquini’s comments

Looking at the 2013 season
“I think that close season tests before the season starts in March will be very important. Achieving good results during this period could be critical for the fights in the season. And the first race in March will also be very important for Honda. I expect many things will happen during the season, but if the whole team makes an effort and everything goes well, it will be possible for us to win the title. I will do my best to achieve that.”

Gabriele Tarquini and Tiago Monteiro

Honda Racing Team JAS Team Principal, Alessandro Mariani’s comments

Looking back at the 2012 season
“Although it was a short time for preparation, we achieved our objectives one by one. The first one was to gain experience and we were able to finish all six races. The next target was to get points and we achieved that in our first race. We also had an objective to stay as close as possible to the Chevrolets and accomplished that goal in the final round, so we achieved better results than we expected.”

Looking at the 2013 season
“When I said to everybody that my target was to win in the first race in 2013 in my first interview, some people said it was too ambitious. However, it is still my goal today to finish the first race of 2013 at the top. If we look back at the situation in 2012 and our results in the final round, I think it is more possible than before. So, we’ll do our best in the tests during the close season to achieve the goal.”

Chief Engineer for Civic WTCC Development, Daisuke Horiuchi’s comments

Looking back at the 2012 season
“If I look back at the 2012 season, the development time was very short. We didn’t start the engine for the first time until just before a test in July and the car actually ran for the first time in the test at the end of July (on the 31st of July and 1st of August at Vallelunga). Thinking of this, I think it’s a great achievement that our speed has reached the level where we can compete with top runners. So, I am glad that we’ve come so far.”

“I also think that we acquired valuable experience in the last three rounds of the season we took part in. We wouldn’t have gained that if it hadn’t been in actual races. We were able to confirm our direction in car settings and improve them according to such a direction, and aspects such as car balance and engine drivability got better and better every session. I believe that the result of this culminated in our performance in the final round in Macau. I was happy when we fulfilled one of our goals by achieving the speeds with which we were able to go toe-to-toe with the Chevrolets.”

 Looking at the 2013 season
“In the WTCC the regulations are very strict, so from the viewpoint of developing cars, it is a difficult category. Regarding engines, we cannot significantly increase the power due to the use of restrictors and restricted maximum rotations, but an accumulation of detailed settings such as pursuit of combustion efficiency and improvements in the feel of the ALS (anti-lag system) of the turbo can make a big difference. The same goes for the chassis and the degree of completion of settings will make a difference in a race times.”

“We plan to have around three close season tests at New Year. I expect a lot from Gabriele Tarquini. I have found out during tests that his setting abilities are of very high level. I also think that he and Tiago will make a good combination. I am sure that Gabriele will show performance which meets our expectations in races when the season begins.”

WWF HONDA MARINE PARKS PROGRAMME

Where people of the sea meet Marine Protected Areas
By Heather Dugmore
In their small, brightly painted boats the fishermen head out to sea. On some days they return with a haul of fresh linefish for their families and some extra to sell. On other days they return empty-handed. They rank amongst the thousands of small-scale fishers along South Africa’s coastline who work exceptionally hard for their living, and who have been practising traditional fishing and harvesting methods for generations. Which is why, when some of them were told several years back, that they could not continue because their area has been proclaimed a Marine Protected Area (MPA), they understandably felt that marine conservation and legislation was against them, and many defied the proclamation, effectively becoming poachers.
This created a deadlock between marine conservation and certain coastal communities because the small-scale fishers need fish and seafood for survival while South Africa needs MPAs (which are the breeding grounds for many marine species of national importance) to ensure a sustainable supply of fish and seafood into the future.

Towards resolving this situation the WWF Nedbank Green Trust agreed to finance The Human Dimensions Project led by WWF’s Integrated Ocean Management Programme Manager Peter Chadwick to understand the full implications of MPAs on these fisher communities, with the hope of finding sustainable solutions for all parties. As a result, in 2011, for the first time in South Africa, small-scale fishers sat around the table with conservation authorities, conservation organisations and social scientists to discuss how the small-scale fishers and coastal communities can be meaningfully included in the planning, management and benefits of MPAs – of which South Africa currently has 21.
“For MPAs to succeed we have to create a sense of ownership and protection of the marine resources amongst the small-scale fishers and coastal communities,” says Chadwick whose team includes Professor Merle Sowman and Dr Serge Raemaekers – Inshore/Small-scale Fisheries Governance, Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU) at the University of Cape Town – and several Masters and PhD students. Each of the students is based at one of several case study sites and fisher communities along South Africa’s coastline.

These are: Hluleka MPA and Dwesa-Cwebe MPA in the Eastern Cape, Langebaan Lagoon MPA (West Coast National Park), Struisbaai/Agulhas/Kogelberg in the Western Cape and Cape Peninsula (Table Mountain MPA).

“Several are proclaimed MPAs, others are potential MPAs and others are proclaimed MPAs that will potentially be incorporated into larger marine management areas, such as the Struisbaai/Agulhas/Kogelberg area, which extends some 150 kilometres,” Chadwick explains.

The first eighteen months of this three-year project are now completed, during which time the team gathered substantial information and understanding of the communities and their perspective of the MPAs. At the same time the team investigated the socio-economic opportunities from which the communities can potentially benefit by assisting with biodiversity conservation. Very much part of this is the new Small-scale Fisheries Policy which was gazetted earlier this year to address the needs of small-scale fishers, and which will apportion inshore resources more equitably.
In the Dwesa-Cwebe region, for example, PhD student Jackie Sunde engaged fishing communities on the issue of illegal linefishing and harvesting of coastal seafood in this MPA. The small-scale fishers explained that they were never consulted about the proclamation of the MPA, which took away their livelihood. At the same time this MPA is critically important from a national conservation perspective because it is the spawning ground for species like Kob/Kabeljou and White Steenbrass, which are under serious threat. Kob is down to approximately 4% of its original population.

Sunde’s research was incorporated into a two-day planning meeting in April 2012 convened by the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), which manages the MPAs, and attended by a range of officials across local, provincial and national agencies, as well as natural and social scientists. Sunde and Raemaekers were asked to give a presentation on the ‘Human Dimensions’ of the Dwesa-Cwebe MPA at the meeting, which contributed towards a deepened understanding of the complex factors impacting biodiversity conservation and sustainable livelihoods in the MPAs. This will help to inform management policies and SANParks’ Resource Use Strategy.

“It is very clear that if we want to solve the conflict around MPAs, such as poaching, we need to implement practical management policies that include the community, such as preferential access and community managed sanctuary areas,” says Raemaekers. “This would allow the small-scale fishers to claim their traditional fishing areas, and at the same time it would allow the resources time to recover, and therefore sustain the communities’ supply.”

Raemaekers offers the example of a woman in a coastal community who is head of her household and who harvests mussels, limpets and red bait to feed her family. “There is no question she will risk getting caught in the MPA because for her it is about survival. These are the forgotten people who don’t partake in high-level biodiversity conversations, and the inclusion of their needs is essential in the spatial planning of MPAs.”
In this and other areas the Human Dimensions Project team will be putting forward practical guidelines that will hopefully be acceptable to both the fisher communities and to the DEA and to the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). “In the Struisbaai/ Agulhas/ Kogelberg area, for example, the broad principle is that 80% of the inshore zone will be for local restricted use, based on the Small-scale Fisheries Policy, while 20% will be set aside as a ‘no tag’ area to allow the resources to recover,” says Chadwick. Currently there is only the Bettys Bay MPA, which spans four kilometres of coastline and extends two nautical miles offshore.

Through engagement and inclusion of the local communities they hope to encourage a sense of ownership and protection of the local resources. At the same time, WWF has appointed a market transformation manager to look into market opportunities for the small-scale fishers to improve their livelihoods.

“If we get this project right, it will change the way that MPAs in South Africa are managed into the future, with small-scale fishers playing an important role,” says Chadwick.

 

 

PRODUCT NEWS

Technology that DeliversBF115/BF135/BF150

Twin Honda BF115's powering the NSRI in Hout Bay

Honda’s BF115, BF135 and BF150 deliver world-renowned quality and reliability through advanced engineering. Achieving unparalleled levels of performance, these engines set the standard in innovation featuring advanced inline four-cylinder technology, drawn from Honda’s decades of automotive experience. These engines feature a range of Honda-exclusive technologies that place them in a league of their own.

For more information click on the links below:
Honda BF115HP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Biaplpnj-b0
Honda BF135HP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lzp9WW0zDrI
Honda BF150HP: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvCVOX_cCVs

Honda BF135 powering a Pontoon boat

Cutting-edge Advantages
Honda’s BF115, BF135 and BF150 deliver seamless performance and optimum 
power for a smooth and enjoyable boating experience. Using proven technology found in Honda’s automotive engines, the BF115, BF135 and BF150 have been manufactured with the world’s most innovative, efficient and reliable technology. Designed for use 
in all environments, these engines feature a unique set of Honda-exclusive technologies to provide increased power across the entire rpm range. Low fuel consumption, exceptional reliability and reduced periodical maintenance requirements all combine to minimise the overall cost of ownership.

Twin Honda BF150's pack a powerful punch...

Maximum Power
The BF150 features Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC™) developed for Honda’s high-performance sports cars. Introduced in the early 1990s, VTEC™ is the benchmark technology used on every Honda motor vehicle sold today. The system ensures smooth, stable idling, while increased valve lift at high rpm broadens the torque curve and provides incredible top-end power.

ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY & SPECIAL FEATURES

Racing Technology – VTEC
VTEC™ delivers more 
power, torque and efficiency at every speed. At 4500rpm, a special high-lift cam engages to provide more air into the combustion chamber to produce more power. VTEC™ and Dual Stage Induction work to produce a longer, flatter torque profile: the ultimate in fine-tuned performance. (VTEC™: BF150 only)

Boosted Low Speed
 Torque (BLAST™)
Hole shot and acceleration
is significantly improved by MBT trace control (ignition timing). MBT – Minimum advance for Best Torque.

Advanced ignition timing develops more horsepower at low rpm to get the hull up on the plane quicker giving super-strong acceleration with rapid advancement of the throttle.

This patented technology pioneers a new age in 4-stroke outboard engines and will be the benchmark for future Honda engine designs.

Lean Burn Control
Inclusion of lean burn
 control offers significantly improved fuel consumption in cruising mode versus comparable 4-strokes and reduced running costs for boat users.

New models are even more fuel-efficient than previous models.

Garmin GMI10 and GPS MAP devices all include Honda’s unique Eco light. This is to indicate Lean Burn mode in operation.

NMEA2000 Compliant
NMEA2000 compliancy allows 
the engine to communicate with 
onboard marine electronics to deliver a wide range of information to head-unit displays. When networked with a Garmin or Lowrance NMEA2000 device, for example, engine data such as speed, rpm, temperature, fuel usage and other data can be displayed on the unit’s screen.

All Honda outboard engines from 40 right up to 250HP, except for the BF75 and BF90, are NMEA2000 compliant, however it won’t be before too long that these two outboards will also become compliant.

MAIN FEATURES

  • The inclusion of a Trolling Control feature allows adjustments in 50rpm increments between 650-900rpm. Trolling Control is an optional feature, contact your Honda Dealer for further details…
  • Three-Way Cooling. Three separate cooling circuits for more power with long-term durability.
  • 4-Front Corrosion Protection. A patented, ‘double-sealed’ multi-layered paint process. Sacrificial anodes and stainless steel technology, along with waterproof connectors, all enhance corrosion protection.
  • ‘On Demand’ 40amp, belt-driven alternator reduces heat build-up and provides superior battery charging capability – 30amp at 1000rpm and 40amp at 2000rpm.

 

 

Ultraflex hydraulic steering systems and more arrive in SA
Recently arrived in South Africa is the comprehensive range of Ultraflex products ranging from top quality mechanical controls, steering helms and wheels, hydraulic steering systems to electronic controls.
Instrumental in their growth has been Ultraflex’s focus on ongoing research and development which has led to an innovative approach to the efficiency and practicality of their designs, coupled with modern production systems, all backed by an excellent customer service programme.
They clearly understand that boating people want to use products that perform and which are reliable. That is why their future plans remain clearly based on the continued production of innovative and quality products.

Ultraflex-Front Mount Cylinder, Hydraulic Steering System

Please view all the Ultraflex stock items via the link below:
http://ultraflex.ultraflexgroup.com/default_inglese.asp

 

ONE on ONE INTERVIEWS

‘ONE-on-ONE’ Interview with Eamon Scott, Dealer Principal at Honda Marine St Francis

Eamon Scott - Dealer Principal at Honda Marine St Francis

Over the next few months we’ll be conducting interviews with the key personnel who have helped to make Honda Marine one of the the fastest growing outboard engine brands in South Africa. For their comments and insights into both current and future trends within the marine industry, check out the full interviews on the Honda Marine Blog.

1. Are you happy with your decision to open a Honda Marine Dealership?
To say I am happy with our decision to open a Honda Marine Dealership in 2011 would be the understatement of the decade for me. The product is simply superb in every respect, giving unrivalled fuel economy, reliability and smooth power delivery. The only big drawback is that we are not selling spare parts as they simply don’t break!

The enthusiasm and professionalism of the staff at Honda Head Office in Midrand is also amazing. I am a relative newcomer to this industry and have come to rely heavily on their advice and support, which has been unstinting.

We are also fortunate to benefit from another important part of our overall business operation, namely our safe and secure boat storage facility that has done much to cement both our business name and reputation locally.

Honda Marine St Francis storage facility

2. New Developments at Honda Marine St Francis
In the Dealership we have had some changes recently, the main one being Warren Rachman’s decision to move on to pastures new at the end of January. I bought this business as a complete outsider just over 3 years ago and my business partner Warren has helped me enormously in terms of technical and industry knowledge right from the start. His sister Julie and I thank him for his key contribution to the establishment of Honda Marine St. Francis and all the staff join us in wishing him well for the future.

Honda Marine St Francis offering a comprehensive service to customers

Warren leaves big shoes to fill, but I can confirm that plans are at a very advanced stage to appoint a strong Technical Director with the required industry and workshop management experience. I am confident of our ability to continue to provide our customers with the highest standards of technical service and support.

3. What’s it like being involved in the Marine industry during these difficult economic times?
In a weak economic environment I think a big challenge for all of us is the inflationary pressure partly brought on by the weak Rand. We have to balance the protection of our margins against not over-pricing our products which are, after all, almost exclusively imported. However as a foreigner, I also see worrying signs of home-grown, self-inflicted cost inflation… mistakes made many times in various other countries, but which we seem determined to repeat here. As far as economic policy is concerned there is also a conspicuous leadership vacuum, and a mish-mash of mixed messages being sent out.

4. How do you see the Marine industry going forward? Where is your primary market focus going to be?
There are however some tempting prizes on offer unique to the South African market. I have gone on record before as saying that I believe the route to glory in this industry, which will give us unparalleled growth for decades to come, is to sell the lifestyle to the major previously disadvantaged social groups. How to do this is another matter, but we must address this urgently and with all our might. The potential rewards are so enormous and the risks of failing to do so could be disastrous. As Soichiro Honda himself once said, ‘I failed in 99% of my attempts in order to succeed in the remaining 1%.’ We ourselves already have several of these customers here, but all of us need a lot more.

Just some of the team at Honda Marine St Francis

The other opportunity will be provided by continuing worldwide environmental pressures to phase out 2-stroke motors, and by their poor performance in terms of fuel economy, both of which areas are key Honda strengths.

5. What have proven to be the most popular Honda-powered boat packages in your area of operation?
We have 2 main markets in St. Francis Bay, namely the fishing market and the ski-boat market, and these are reflected in what we sell. Pairs of 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are popular, as are single motors in the 135 to 150HP range. Small motors in the range of 5 to 15hp are also sought-after in the St. Francis canal area for small utilities and ducks.

6. What do Customers say about the Honda Marine outboards, is there a lot of product loyalty?
We have been astonished by the degree of customer loyalty right from the very first day. When we launched as Honda Marine St. Francis we met all sorts of people who came in expressing their pleasure that they now had a Honda Main Dealer in their area, and all of whom told us how delighted they were with their motors. If anyone thinks, ‘Well he would say that wouldn’t he’, I challenge them to find Honda motors on sale second-hand, which tells its own story.

Locals excited to have Honda 4-stroke advanced technology outboards available locally

7. Have you been able to establish key partnerships in your local area (eg. Local community involvements/ Angling Clubs/ NSRI/ other…)
We have excellent tie-ups with many local busineses, particularly all those involved either directly or indirectly in the marine business. Such is our standing that this month’s meeting of the local Business Forum will be held on our site.

Honda Marine St Francis supporting the local NSRI Golf Day

We also have very close ties with the local NSRI and have benefitted significantly from their commitment to re-equip with Honda motors, and work closely with them on servicing and technical support.

8. ‘The Way Forward’ after last year’s horrendous fire in St Francis
People from outside are always asking me what were the effects of the awful fire in November on our business. The answers are mixed, but certainly in the short-term the publicity seemed to bring a huge number of visitors to the area this year. While some boats that were destroyed are being replaced, others are being sold pending re-building of properties, so I think it is too early to decide definitely one way or the other. A few houses are not being re-built so there are some stunning, well-located plots available on the canals at great prices and I am sure this will attract new people to the area.

Last November's devastating fire in St Francis

Above all whatever your boating needs, if you’re either living in or visiting the St Francis area be sure to pay us a visit, we look forward to meeting you.

Honda Marine St Francis look forward to welcoming you...

CONTACT DETAILS – Honda Marine St Francis
E-Mail: eamon@hondamarinestfrancis.co.za
Tel.: 042 294 0961

 

 

 

HONDA MARINE SOUTHERN AFRICA NEWS

Talbot Engineering to represent Honda Marine in both Mauritius and Reunion


Mauritius from the air...

To sustain the growth of Honda Marine as the fastest growing outboard engine brand in South Africa over the last 5 years, as well as the most reliable brand (0.08% warranty claim ratio – unheard of in the marine industry), Honda Marine SA is constantly searching for like-minded business partners to take the much in demand Honda brand to the next level. With the appointment of Talbot Engineering to look after Honda’s interests in both Mauritius and Reunion, Honda Marine has found a very strong platform. Talbot Engineering, owned and run by Alain Talbot, is also the Volvo Penta distributor for Mauritius, Reunion and Madagascar, and over many years has built up a highly reputable business name in the region. More details to follow in the February Newsletter…

 

 

 

Tide Turning for U.S. Boating Industry
With the U.S. economy as very much the precursor of what’s in store for South Africa and the rest of the world, it’s very interesting to see the positivity towards the U.S. Boating Industry in the build-up to the Miami International Boat Show, the world’s biggest boating event. Highlighted in the show catalogue is the fact that the recreational boating industry has reported a 10% increase in new power boat sales in 2012 which are the first signs of healthy growth since the recession, also that it’s small, versatile boats that are leading the recovery.

More Detailed Overview
The U.S. recreational boating industry began to see the tide turn for new powerboat sales with an estimated ten percent increase in 2012, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA). Early projections indicate the industry will see additional increases in 2013 by as much as 5-10%. This level of growth in 2013 will depend on a number of factors including continued improvement in economic conditions that impact recreational boating—namely consumer confidence and the housing market—and sustained increases in Americans’ participation in outdoor recreation.“Improving economic conditions and what seems to be a resurgence in Americans’ love for the outdoors, helped fuel steady growth in new power boat sales in 2012,” notes Thom Dammrich, president of NMMA. “A ten percent boost at retail in 2012 is significant as this is the first time since the recession we saw healthy growth across the powerboat market, which will create momentum in 2013.”

Another factor, and new trend, that’s contributing to new boat sales is the creation of innovative, more versatile and accessible boats that appeal to a variety of interests and budgets and fall within the 15-26 foot range.

It’s these smaller boats, those less than 27 feet, which make up 96% of the 12.4 million registered boats in the U.S. and are leading the industry out of the recession. Boats that fall into this category include aluminum all-purpose boats and pontoons, fibreglass bowriders, fish and ski boats, and jet boats.

“One of the most significant trends we’re seeing in boat manufacturing is the versatile boat—one that can pull tubers or wakeboarders, can be used for fishing outings, relaxing with family or entertaining friends,” said Dammrich. “After a decade of decline, Americans are participating in outdoor recreation in growing numbers, and as they look for ways to spend time outdoors, boat manufacturers are taking cue, producing innovative boats that offer an all-encompassing entry to the boating lifestyle at a variety of price points.”

In 2011, boating participation increased ten percent to 83 million – the largest proportion of adults (34.8%) who went boating since 1997 (35.8%).

It’s not just boating participation that is growing. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that more than 140 million Americans make outdoor recreation a priority in their daily lives – and they prove it with their wallets. The outdoor recreation economy generates $646 billion in direct consumer spending annually. What’s more, a recent study by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service reports that participation in fishing is up 11% in the past 5 years, and hunting participation is up 9% in the past 5 years.

To find the right boat for your individual application contact your local Honda Marine Dealer.